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Antiquarian Notes, Historical, Genealogical and Social
(Second Series) Inverness-Shire, Parish by Parish
Chapter X. Glenelg


THE MEN OF GLENELG FEROCIOUSLY ATTACK A FUNERAL PARTY.

WHILE there were hereditary differences between clan and clan, name and name, hereditary feuds also existed between district and district. Of the latter was the feud between Glenelg and Localsh, and it is as old at least as the period of the final disjunction of the county of Ross from Inverness.

I now give a more complete account than that given on another occasion of a serious outbreak which occurred in the month of December, 1814, in connection with the family of Barisdale.

Funerals were generally seized upon as a convenient opportunity "to have the matter out but the occasion now chosen was rather unusual, for although Coll, 4th Barisdale, lived at Auchtertyre in Lochalsh and had invited his friends of that district to the funeral, he was by birth and property and in essential a Glenelg and Kilchoan man. The circumstances are detailed in the statement now to be quoted, which gave Barisdale the greatest annoyance. He was not in the fray, and knew nothing of it until all was over, being detained at the funeral entertainment with some of those invited, who he said in a letter of the time were "inclined to sit at the table a little longer" than such as those from Lochalsh, for instance, who had a long way before them ere they could reach home.

In a letter from Mr John Matheson of Attadale, dated the 11th of January, 1815, he, a Lochalsh man and wounded in the scuffle, says of the parishioners of Glenelg, "they from time immemorial were notorious amongst the rest of the neighbourhood for their savage deeds."

Mrs Flora Macdonell, at whose funeral the row occurred, was daughter of Norman Macleod of Drynoch, Skye, who settled in Gleneig. She married Archibald, third of Barisdale, and was a devoted wife and mother.
The witnesses for the intended prosecution for assault and battery were—Mr, George Jeffrey, Esq., New Kelso 2, Archibald Macdonell, Esq,, yr. of Barisdale; 3, The Rev. Dr Downie of Lochalsh; 4. Mr Roderick Maclennan, tacksman of Killilan; 5, Mr Kenneth Mackenzie, merchant, Kyleakin; 6, John Matheson, Esq., of Attadale; 7, Mr John Macrae, tacksman of Fernaig; 8, Mr Norman Finlayson at Auchtertyre; 9, Mr Peter Gillies at Auchtertyre 10, Mr Donald Bethune, servant at Auchtertyre; 11, Mr John Macdonald at Innestown; 12, Mr Donald Macmaster, shepherd at Glenmeddle; 13, Mr Malcolm Nixon at Kirkton of Gleneig. Of these in the list the first eleven are in Ross-shire, the last two in Inverness-shire.

STATEMENT OF FACTS.—That Mrs Macdonell of Barisdale was interred at Gleneig, on Tuesday 6th December, 1814. That among several other gentlemen invited to attend the funeral were Mr George Jeffrey of New Kelso, Mr Matheson of Attadale, Doctor Downie of Localsh, Mr Archibald Macdonell of Glenmeddle, and Mr Kenneth Mackenzie, merchant, Lochalsh.

That the gentlemen above named met at Ardhill early on the morning of Tuesday, and proceeded in the same boat to Kirkton of Glenelg. That after landing, the boat was hauled on the shore to carry them back at night.

That after the interment the whole company adjourned to a house near the church, where they dined and sat till about five o'clock in the evening.

That after the company broke up the gentlemen named above, joined by Mr Roderick Maclennan of Killilan, proceeded towards the boat to return to Localsh. That John Macmaster, a servant of Mr Macdonell of Barisdale, met with them at Glenelg and was ordered by his master to go to Lochalsh in this boat. That it appears the said Macmaster before the company came out to return home had some words with Donald Maclennan, residing in Kirkton of Glenelg.

That as the whole party was proceeding towards the boat, the said Donald Maclennan followed Macmaster and seized hold of him by the breast. That Mr Archibald Macdonell of Glenmeddle, seeing Maclennan thus knocking his father's servant, asked his name, when he replied that his name was Donald Maclennan and that he resided at Kirkion. That on Mr Macdonell threatening to send him to the jail at Inverness if he ill-used Macmaster, Maclennan let go the hold he had of him, but followed the party towards the boat.

That the boat was now in the water with the stern on shore, made fast to a boat lying on the beach by a rope belonging to the latter boat. That while in this situation the whole party was embarking, Maclennan began to abuse all the people of Localsh in gross language, and to bid defiance to the whole crew. That on this provocation Macmaster jumped on shore after he had embarked, seized hold of Maclennan and dragged him into the sea, where he ducked him different times. That Mr Archibald Macdonell seeing this jumped likewise out of the boat and separated them. That Maclennan crying for help a number of men armed with bludgeons rushed down the beach, and before Mr Macdonell could again embark they surrounded the stern of the boat, and began to beat with their sticks in the most insolent manner every person within their reach.

That in consequence they wounded severely Mr Matheson of Attadale, giving him a deep cut in the forehead, from which a great quantity of blood immediately issued. That Mr Archibald Macdonell received a severe stroke on his head, from which the blood immediately flowed in abundance. That Mr Kenneth Mackenzie received a cut on his head to the effusion of his blood. That Doctor Downie received a severe blow with a stick on his head which the strength of his hat prevented from being cut. That Peter Gillies, one of the crew, received a dreadful wound across his skull after the loss of his hat, and has since been confined to bed, from every appearance, in imminent danger of his life. That Ninian Finlayson, another of the crew, has one of his hands torn by it stroke to the effusion of his blood, and had the other arm so bruised by repeated strokes of bludgeons that it is now much swelled and unfit for any service. That John Macdonald, another of the crew, was much bruised by repeated strokes, and his hat taken away or lost in the scuffle. That while this work of blood was going forward the end of the boat next the shore was surrounded by a crowd of people, some of whom were keeping hold of the boat, and some endeavouring to seize hold of the oars, while others were with their sticks endeavouring to knock down every person within their reach in the boat and who, being comparatively fewer in number and having no sticks, were quite unable to defend themselves. Having at last regained the possession of one of their oars which had been wrested from them, they endeavoured to push off the boat so as to get clear of this band of ruffians, but their thirst for blood not being yet satisfied, they still kept the boat close to the shore by seizing hold of the rope which had been made fast to her as already stated. That one of the crew seeing little chance of getting clear, cut the rope, on which several of those who had hold of the other end of the rope and who had been violently dragging the boat on shore fell on the beach. That the boat was immediately pushed off into water too deep for the people to follow, and when no longer able to assail the party with the sticks, there was a shower of stones from a crowd, in appearance from thirty to forty, thrown on to the boat, until she was pushed off out of their reach. One of those stones struck Mr Mackenzie of Killilan on the breast, by which he had received a severe contusion. As the boat was proceeding home the men were throwing out such of the stones as they found in the bottom of the boat, but on examining the boat next morning 18 of those bullets were found to be in her still, some of which weighed from three to four pounds, much blood too was found in the boat next morning. The night being dark and the people in' the boat being little acquainted in Glenelg, it is very difficult to point out the individuals of which this crowd was composed.

The person of Maclennan, however, will be sworn to by two of the crew. One of the crew, Donald Bethune, who resided for some years at Glenelg, will make oath to two other men of his acquaintance being in the crowd, viz., Roderick Macrae, a young man residing with his mother at Kirkton of Glenelg, and Donald Buie Maclure, residing at Islandrioch.

Which statement consisting of this and preceding pages is attested to be truth, at Ardhill, the seventh day of December, one thousand eight hundred and fourteen years, by

(Signed) JOHN MATHESON. A. DOWNIE, GEORGE JEFFREY.

A MACDONELL-MACLEOD MARRIAGE CONTRACT.

There was a great gathering at Arnisdale on the 2nd of May, 1723, at the signing of the contract of marriage between John Macdonell, second son of Æneas Macdonell of Scotus, and Janet Macleod, Arnisdale, a copy of which will now be given. The deed has no less than fourteen signatures, and does great credit to its framer, the Rev. Murdo Macleod, parish minister. Descended of this marriage is the well-known barrister and author, Macdonell of Greenfield, now in Montreal.

Prior to the sale of Glenelg, its large farmers, under the Macleods, were, and specially those of Skye extraction, perhaps the most conspicuous on the west mainland. Even in my own time Captain Reid of Eileanreach kept up a splendid hospitality, and old Cameron of Beolary was a noted, successful farmer, and I well recollect what a wrench it was for the old man when he was removed.

Long prior to Mr Cameron's time the tenant of Beolary was Mr John Murchison of the Lochalsh family of that name. I have several of his and his wife's letters. Writing on the 20th of August, 1782, Mr Murchison says—" 1 had the mortification to be informed last week of the death of a second brother that I have lost by this unfortunate war. He died at Charleston on the 27th of January last, occasioned by the opening of his old wounds, which he got the day his other brother was killed at Stoney Ferry. He was a pretty loving young man. God knows their deaths is a great heart brake to me, as my affection for them was very great."

In the contract of marriage the opinions held of black cattle and sheep respectively are effectively seen, for the sheep are thrown in under the head of "small" cattle, such as sheep and goats."

The country of Knoydart is rich and beautiful and reared, in abundance and comfort, honest men and bonnie lasses. Why it should not do so now seems inexplicable, for though the people have greatly diminished, the land is there as of old. To my misfortune I have only once been up Loch Nevis, but the kindness and stirring reception of my one night at Inverie can never be forgotten. Here is the marriage contract referred to—

"At Arnisdale, the 2nd day of May, one thousand seven hundred and twentie three years. It is minuted appointed matrimonially, agreed and ended betwixt John Macdonell, second lawfull son to Æneas Macdonell of Scottos, on the one part, and Janet Macleod, lawfull daughter to Donald Macleod in Arnisdale, with his consent and assent, and he taking burden on him for her on the other part in manner following. That is, the saids John Macdonell and Janet Macleod, with consent foresaid, hereby promises to take each other in marriage and to solemnize the said lawfull bond of marriage instantly. And the said Donald Macleod in Arnisdale, hereby binds and obliges him, his heirs, ex'ors, and successors whatsomever to content and pay to the said John Macdonell, his heirs, ex'ors, and assignees in name of tocher good, the number of threescore of cows and four piece of sufficient horse, as they are usually payed in tocher, that is to say twentie milk cows, twentie yeall cows, ten cows two years old, and ten stirks, to be payed in manner following, viz., the number of twentie-five to be payed at Whitsunday ensueing, and as many at Whitsunday, one thousand seven hundred and twentie four, and the other ten at Whitsunday one thousand seven hundred and twentie five. For the whilk causes on the other part the said Æneas Macdonell as burden taker, binds and obliges him, his heir, ex'ors, and successors to provide the said John Macdonell, his son to the sum of two thousand merks Scots money, for which he is to pay interest to his behoof from the term of Whitsunday next to come, and until it be laid out upon interest in sufficient hands upon land or otherwise.

"The said John Macdonell as pri'nl, and with, and for him, the said Æneas Macdonell as cautioner, suretie and full debitor, binds and oblidges them, their heirs, ex'ors, and successors whatsomever con'llie and severally to secure in the hands of Donald Macleod of Tallascar or any other sufficient hands the said sum of two thousand merks money foresaid in liferent to the said Janet Macleod during all the days of her lifetime and in fee to the eldest son to be procreate of the said marriage or that shall be then in life, whilk failling to the other child or children of the said marriage. And it is hereby provyded that the said Janet shall have a tearce of all the moveables that shall appertain to the said John Macdonell at the time of his decease, she then surviving, with the whole small cattell, such as sheep and goates, by and attour the just and equal half of the conquest. And the said Janet Macleod hereby discharges the said Donald Macleod her father of her portion natural and all other things she could ask or crave thro' his decease excepting good will allenarly.

In like manner the said John Macdonell hereby discharges his father of bairns part of gear excepting good will allenarly and all the said parties binds and obhidges them to perform the premisses hinc inde in manner above written and the party faillzying shall pay to the party observer or willing to observe the same the sum of two hundred merks Scots. And all consent to the Regran of their pritts in the Books of Council and Session or any other judicatory competent that an decreet be interponed thereto so that letters of horning on ten days and other executorialls needful may pass hereupon in form as efleirs and to that effect constitutes their pro'rs. In witness qrof (written by Mr Murdoch Macleod, minister of Glenelg, upon stamped paper) all have subt their pritts day, place, and year of God a wrin before those witnesses, Archibald McDonnell of Barisdel, Coll McDonnell his son, Norman McLeod of Drynoch, Mr Alexr. McLeod his son, Lachlin McKinnon of Mistiness, Donald McDonnell in Glendulachan, and the said. Mr Murdoch McLeod writer hereof.

(Signed) "JOHN MACDONELL, JANNET MCLEOD, "DONALD MCLEOD, ÆNEAS MCDONELL CA'R, LACHLAN MCKINNON, wittnes, ARCHIBALD McDONELL, wittness, MCDONELL, wittnes, COLL MCDONELL, wittness. ANG. MCLEOD, wittness. NOR. MCLEOD, wittness, ALLAN MCDONELL, wittnes, ALEXR. MACLEOD, wittness, ALEXR. MCDONELL, wittnes, MURD. MACLEOD, wittness."

LEASES, ROADS, RAILWAYS, AND RECRUITING.

Upwards of a century ago, it was the practice to encourage tenants in Glenelg, by granting them long leases, whereby having a considerable fixity of tenure, they found that it was worth while improving. When sales afterwards became abundant, very frequently the price given, calculated at so many years' purchase, was astonishing. In my own day, I have seen forty years' purchase given, but these times are past. Mr William Tod, factor for the Duke of Gordon, asking a high price last century for lands in Lochaber instances that between the years 1770 and 1790 two estates in Badenoch, Phoness and Raits, had been sold in public market at fifty-five and seventy years' purchase of the gross rental.

The illustration of long leases in Glenelg I have in view are two, one by Macleod to John Murchison, his factor in Gleneig, of the two penny lands of Beolary as then possessed by the said John Murchison, and Ludovick Murchison, his father ; the two penny lands of Arrieharachan, as then possessed by John Macleod and his sub-tenants; and the four penny lands of Achaconon, as possessed by Donald Macleod and other tenants. The tenant had power to assign one half of the subjects to his second brother Roderick, and the other half to his brothers—Duncan, Magnus, and Donald. The endurance was for fifty-seven years, from Whitsunday, 1774 and the rent £472 Scots. Notwithstanding the favourable terms, and that Macleod dispossessed several of his clan, the lease, dated the 8th of December, 1767, did not terminate successfully. John Murchison died in 1811, survived by one brother only, the Duncan before referred to. Two others, as previously mentioned, soldiers, died in America. The other lease referred to was by General Simon Fraser of Lovat, in favour of Ewen Gillies, of the lands of Camusnabrain of North Morar for two nineteen years from and after Whitsunday, 1780, at a rent of £9 2s 8d sterling, but excluding any right to the salmon fishings on the water of Morar.

The lands of Glenelg were considered by Government and others so central and important a position on the west mainland that barracks were erected at Bernera as suitable to command the neighbourhood. They were never of much use, and have long since gone to ruin, and the site restored ; reserving to the Government the right to re-acquire the premises with a considerable piece of land at any time, should this be resolved upon. The sheep farmers from Skye and outer islands found Glenelg convenient as a connection with the south, and the late Mr Telford projected a road in i8io from Rannoch to Glenelg and gave details of the cost. It is an interesting document, particularly in view of the recent openings of the west mainland. Gleneig is very convenient of access by sea, but the reverse by land. Telford's proposed road traverses much of the West Highland Railway route until it reaches Roy Bridge. It then directed its course by the Spean to the Lochy, thence by ziz-zag courses through the northern part of Lochiel's estate, crossing Glengarry into Glenmoriston, and by Glenshiel to the sea. This was essential if Glenelg was the terminus aimed at, because if it ascended the waters of Arkaig, one would be on the way to Loch Morar. If it ascended Glengarry, Loch Hourn would be reached, and as there is no mountain or valley access to Glenelg, the road has to go first to Loch Duich, and from thence there is a steep ascent and an equally steep descent to Glenelg.

Loch Carron at the north, and Loch Linnhe at the south, from their position can be reached easily by land, but the intermediate lakes, and particularly the Bay of Glenelg, are practically inaccessible except by sea. These lakes, however, are admirably adapted for fishery purposes, which have not been fully developed, although this may be confidently expected when railway facilities are provided from Kyleakin and Mallaig. I expect the latter will become by and bye an important centre, and that when the railway is opened, that part of it facing the Atlantic will be largely taken up for building purposes by the merchants of Glasgow and other cities, who will no longer be satisfied with country quarters on the Firth of Clyde.

Macleod of Macleod and his wife stayed at Inverness in the winter of 1789, in the house of a Captain Baillie. Giving it up by them seems to have annoyed the Captain, who according to Macleod "had, he feared," again taken another pet. "I don't know how to manage in such cases. I never take pets myself." He must have been a most exemplary person.

In another letter to a gentleman at Inverness, who had taken some trouble about his affairs, Macleod writes from Golden Square, London, on the 24th of May, 1790- "Parliament will probably be dissolved about the month of June. There seems to be no avoiding a war, in which case I shall immediately get a regiment, and will probably commence recruiting as soon as I get down."

He seems to have been very attentive to his own people in the matter of patronage. A gentleman in Inverness writing to Mr William Macdonald of Saint Martins, MacLeod's Edinburgh agent, making application for a situation in the Excise for a friend, gets this reply, dated Edinburgh, 6th December, 1790. "It is by no means so easy a matter to obtain a Commission in the Excise as formerly, for this reason that the salary is nearly double, and everything in Excise and Customs go by Parliamentary interest. Macleod has many claims upon him, and many to provide for of his own clan and friends which I know too well to ask anything from him in the meantime."

Recruiting became very severe, and those engaged were hard put to. Norman Macleod, Eileanreach, General Macleod's factor in Glenelg, complains that the taxes for naval services and others were excessive and that some sympathy should be shown to those like himself, who had paid a bounty, and expenses of a volunteer to Inverness, but the recruit had declined enlistment at the last moment, and either could not or would not repay anything. The Dunvegan factor, Mr Charles Robertson, writing on the 2nd of November, 1795, says—"Considering the exertions we used in the affair of the Navy Volunteers, and that we are still endeavouring to send more recruits," trusts that delay in paying the navy rates will be given.

From one class only were recruits pretty easily obtained, viz., apprentices in towns. I see Macleod got into much trouble with a carpet weaver in Elgin, who took legal proceedings against him for the enrolment of his apprentice in the 2nd Battalion of the 42nd Regiment.

It is a pity that his promises to provide for recruits or their families with a house and a bit of land, were departed from or largely restricted, as so fully brought out by the editor of the Scottish Highlander in that paper a few years ago.

The condition of the people did not improve under Macleod's successors.

THE FRASERS OF LOVAT AND MACLEODS OF HARRIS.

The name of Glenelg is found at an early date, it being noted in 1282 that it was part of the Kingdom of Man. It afterwards pertained to the old Earls of Ross. It consisted of two parishes, Kilchoan, mentioned in 1372, comprehending Knoydart and north Morar, and Glenelg proper.

Falling into the King's hands, Glenelg was divided into three parts, and was included in the charter to Randolph, becoming a part of the Earldom of Moray. Two-thirds became the property of the Macleods of Harris, extending to eight davochs and five pennylands, and the other third, of the Frasers of Lovat. There is some obscurity as to the origin of the Lovat title, which rather points, however, to its being an acquisition from the Morays. Hugh Fraser is served heir to the third of Gleneig on the 2nd of May, 1430, following in the narration of lands, the barony of Abertarff, comprehending Stratherrick, which undoubtedly came through the Dunbars. Naturally, the Macleods and Frasers did not agree, and the latter made various attempts to adjudicate and get charters to the whole.

In 1540 a good opportunity occurred of reuniting Glenelg. The well-known Allister "Crotach" Macleod, had a son William, of marriageable age, while Hugh, Lord Lovat, had a daughter Agnes in the same position. Accordingly a match was made up, whereby in effect the whole three parts of Glenelg was settled upon the heirs male of the marriage, the lady also getting a liferent of the thirty pennyland of Minginish. A copy of the contract of marriage will now be given, dated Lovat, the 13th of April, 1540, from which it will be seen that Allister Crotach could not write. The well-meant intentions of the parties were, however, frustrated by the death of William Macleod, within a few years of the marriage, leaving an only daughter, Mary, the famous heiress of Dunvegan, as to whose great succession and for the custody of whose person there had been several years of fighting and controversy. Follows the contract of marriage referred to:-

"At the Lovat the 13th day of April 1540 yeirs. It is appointed staited and finally agreed betwixt ane noble Lord Hugh Lord Fraser of Lovat, as taking burden upon him of Agnes Fraser his daughter on the one pairt, and Alister McLeod of Dunveagan as taking burden upon him of William McLeod his eldest son and appearand air on the other hand in manner form and effect as after follows. That is to say the said William McLeod appearand of Dunveagan, sail God willing marry and take to his wife the said Agnes Fraser and shall celebrate the haily band of matrimony with her in face of the haily kirk, betwixt the day of the date hereof and the last day of July next to come, but any further Delay fraud or Guile, and the said Alexander McLeod of Dunveagan binds and oblishes him and his airis duly and sufficiently to infeft vest and sieze the said Agnes Fraser, now in her virginity, in all and haul his triatty penny Lands of Mid Gaines lyand within the Isle of Sky and Sheriffdome of Inverness to be brooked by the said Agnes all the Days of her lifetime in conjunct Fee, for the which marriage swa to be performed the said Hugh Lord Fraser of Lovat binds and oblishes him and his Airis and Assigneys to renounce all Just Tittle of right property and possession that he has had or may have to the haill land and barony of Gleneig with the haul parts pendices and pertinents thereof lyand within the Sheriffdom of Inverness, in our sovereign Lord's hands, in favour of the said William McLeod, and Agnes Fraser his futur Spouse to be brooked possest set used and disponed be the said William McLeod appearand of I)unvegan and Agnes Fraser his futur Spouse, and the longest liver of them two and the Airis meal lawfully to be begotten betwixt him and the said Agnes Fraser svrally of our sovereign Lord even as the same is now halden be the said Hugh Lord Fraser of Lovat and that betwixt the Day and date hereof and the first Day of July next providing always as God forbid if it shall happen that the said William McLeod nocht to have Airis meal betwixt him and the said Agnes; in that case the hail rights to the said lands and barony of Glenelg to return to the said Hugh Lord Fraser of Lovat his eiris again as well as gif this present Contract had never been made or granted. And baith the said parties bind and oblishes them to stand and abid herat under the pain of four thousand mark usual money of the Realm. And in Case this Contract be not sufficient they are baith content and consents that the same salt be amplified be men of Law in the most ample form that can be devised, Keeping still the substantial heads above written. In witness whereof of baith the said partys have subscribed their presents as follows Day year and place forsaid before their witnesses William Fraser of Guisachan, John Schisolm of Commar, Allan Mackintosh, Ranald Mackallan Vickrory of Muidort, Hugh Fraser of Foyers.

(Signed) "WILLIAM MCLEOD of Dunveagan with my hand.
"AGNES FRASER with my hand.
"HUGH FRASER of Lovat with my hand.
"ALISTER MCLEOD of Dunveagan with my hand lead by a Notar underwritten because I could noucht writ myself.

Ita est Jacobus Hay Notarius Publicus Mandate
dicti Scribere nescien teste manu propria."

General Macleod in his difficulties in 1794 attempted to sell Glenelg, but failed. In the advertisement of sale the estate is said to consist of 37,000 Scots acres, and the stool of oak wood so considerable that if properly enclosed and preserved it might bring in £io,000 every twenty years. The feu-duty is is 9d sterling, and the rent at Whitsunday 1795, £1325 sterling. It was sold at Martinmas, i8io, by John Norman Macleod to Patrick Crawford Bruce, merchant and banker in London, son of the late Sir Michael Bruce of Stenhouse, Baronet, for £98,500, an enormous price, and resold a few years later to the Right Hon. Charles Grant.

The superiority having been redeemed from the Duke of Argyll in 1802 the lands came to hold of the Crown, and the valuation of the Cess Roll being £2208 Scots, afforded qualification for 5 votes. In 1826 Mr Grant's position as member of Parliament was getting risky and he gave off four qualifications to friends and connections, viz., to Matthew Norman Macdonald Hume, W.S., his agent; Dr William Frederick Chambers, London, his near connection; Charles Mark Phillips, of Gavendon Park, Leicestershire, another near connection; and William Thomas Grant, described as "residing in London," his brother. Grant's henchmen, Rothiemurchus and Glenmoriston, were in such a hurry enrolling these four, that there were two of Bruce's equally "nominal and fictitious" barons left actually standing on the roll for the very subjects on which these four claimants were admitted. Grant's then opponent, Lord Macdonald, was equally busy, for he created no less then seventeen barons on the Macdonald estates.

NORTH MORAR.

The picturesque estate lying between Loch Nevis and Loch Morar was described of old as "a very little country." It formed the southern seaboard part of the estate of Glengarry, where it met South Morar, originally part of Clanranald. The Lovats, who had been so long in Glenelg, seem, notwithstanding having parted with their third, to have kept an eye for 150 years on the neighbourhood, and in 1768, when Glengarry was brought to a judicial sale, General Simon Fraser of Lovat purchased North Morar, which still remains in the family; and to increase his strength among freeholders, about the same time acquired the superiority of South Morar. The estate was suitable to General Fraser in another way, viz., as good recruiting ground and a place to settle pensioners.

Flow influence and favouritism ruled after General Fraser's death may be seen from the subjoined letter of Angus Gillis, dated East Stoul, 29th of March, 1786. Angus could not write, but the person he employed wrote an excellent hand and used very correct language-

"Sir,—At the time of recruiting Captain Frazer's company of the North Fencibles, I sent a recruit at my own expense on condition that I should be entitled to the same terms promised the recruits, that is a certain portion of land on disbanding the regiment. At the time of the lett when the lands appropriated for the soldiers were given to their nearest relations to be managed for them till their discharge, J3elladrum allocated my own share to me; which in the letter of tack then given to the whole country was named for the man I had recruited. I set one half to Donald MacLelan, the other to Finlay Gillis, uncle to the man I enlisted, giving under my hand a security to the ground officer for the rent. Notwithstanding all this when the tacks came to be extended the same land was, through the partiality of Gortuleg and Belladrum, included in Angus MacLelan's tack of Glasnacardoch, and all my representations to the contrary unattended to.

"Donald MacLelan has, however, still kept possession of his own part of the land in my name, but has been warned out this spring the warning I send enclosed and desire you will draw out a petition to be laid before the Sheriff to make known all the above, and move him to protect me in my right.

"Please to observe that if Donald McLelan is allowed to remain in peaceable possession this year, we will both give up all future claims and leave the place clear to John McLelan next year; but if he will not agree to this, we will pursue the matter as far as law will allow us, and keep possession till forced out.

"Whatever expense attends bringing thro' to a conclusion will be thankfully payed by, sir your most obedient humble servant, (Signed) "ANGUS (his X mark) GILLIS.

Tacksman of East Stoul, North Morar.
Stoul, 29th March, 1786."

When Archibald Fraser of Lovat came into power he did not treat the North Morar people kindly, and he was in litigation with some of them at his death, insisted upon by his successor in the entail. Mr John Macdonald of Borrodale, who always befriended the Morar people, on hearing of Lovat's death, says that Archibald after "settling the affairs of the nation," alluding to his notorious meddling, has now "to render very strict account indeed of his own acts."

The estate of North Morar still remains undivided, indeed has been added to by the acquisition of the islets in Loch Morar'sometime belonging to the estate of South Morar. The latter has, on the contrary, been much broken up; first, the Camerons of Fassiefern made the earliest purchase of land by acquiring Meople, signalising their acquisition by removing 54 people between Loch Beoraik and Oban
Letter Morar, Almie, Rhetland, etc., was added to the Glenalladale estate; and the remainder of South Morar belongs to Arisaig and Mr Eneas R. Macdonell of Camusdarroch. North Morar, a twelve merks land, had no church within its bounds.

The district of Morar is rich in Jacobite reminiscences, and Mallaig, in which Prince Charles more than once found himself, together with all the country to Fort-William, after long seclusion and neglect, eventuating in depopulation and stagnation, is evidently destined again to raise itself and become the home of a prosperous and contented people.


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